Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Breathing Well at the SciSchmooze

The Valentine Edition

from the desk of herb masters

Greetings Science Fans, Acceptors, and Believers, (Super bowl fans too!)

I’m not even sure where to begin this week. There has been such amazing progress in science and yet I have to admit that I am often caught by some of what I can only say is bizarre stuff. More about that later.

There have been many things that science has proved that are still denied by some. It seems like we might be getting to some level of coexistence with covid. One of the many things that I have learned over the years is that science isn’t particularly democratic or responsive to what the public wants it to be. Somehow many people think that we are exempt from how the universe (nature) actually works or even how nature works in other countries. As I often mention, we are truly lucky to be living in a time where science actually seems to work. It’s hard to do do science, maybe even harder than ever before. But the push to defy what has and is being learned is staggering. I long to hear a leader say “an abundance of caution” when reducing safety protocols. I’m sure that we will learn a lot of interesting new bits of social science in the upcoming years from what has happened. Vaccine or science denial, I think for a many people, has become politics with a very small bit of real concern and thought underlying it. It does have a history though. Social values have driven some recent resistance as well.

Amazing things are still happening in science every day. One of the things that I love learning about is how something that looks so simple can be so complex and effective. Consider The Astounding Physics of N95 Masks and Why Discovering ‘Nothing’ in Science Can Be So Incredibly Important. Even pandemics have helped us get where we are and are stimulating new science and discovery. 2,470 years ago Anaxagoras proposed a question that is only now being solved.

It’s cold but still needs to cool down more. You may remember when Hubble first looked out at the heavens things didn’t go so well. Well this time, it seems like the James Webb Telescope is off to an amazing start even though is has a long way to go before the real science begins.

One more bit of local news… The explOratorium has a new leader, if you haven’t seen this version I suggest that you watch it, it’s much more about the museum and the future than some of the other reports have been.

There’s a lot of things going on this week as well.

Live from the Field: Conservation Through Art & Science – Livestream Mon @ 12:00
Whales, their song, their culture: another intelligence on Earth – Livestream Tue @ 11:00
#NoToPlastic Community Clean-Ups Sat @ 9:45 Oakland

Starting this week the explOratorium is going full Mars! See a full scale model of Perseverance in the museum! After Dark: Mars! Thu 2.17 @ 6:00 at the museum Persey’s First Year on Mars – Livestream Fri 2.18 @ 1:00 Mars Rover Landing Anniversary Party! Sat 11:00 to 4:00 at the museum (Sunday too!)

Of course I would love everyone to have and share a passion for science! So as I said earlier… Wow! Chimpanzees seem to be practicing medicine and there’s some crazy and bizarre stuff out there. We all here about the price of real estate. Please don’t make your decisions using these articles… Mercury in Retrograde: Your Guide to Buying and Selling While the Planets Go Crazy7 Feng Shui Mistakes That Can Give You Bad VibesThe Home Style That’s Right for You, According to Your Zodiac SignPushing Your Luck? 9 Surprising Things in Your Home That Give Off Bad Juju

If you’re getting the urge to travel I suggest that while they might be interesting Null Island and Point Nemo are not good choices!

Finally here’s some good Valentines day news!

Have another great week learning cool new stuff. Of course a great way to do that would be to go to the science museum closest to where you live. Tell me about it!
herb masters

“It is wrong, always, everywhere, for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence”
William Kingdon Clifford

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